Embracing Digital First to Transform Contact Customer Service

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The global contact center outsourcing services industry grew 15% between 2020 and 2021. Lockdowns and social distancing made it difficult for enterprises to keep their contact centers operating at capacity, and outsourcing closed the gap. The pandemic has changed customer expectations, and customer service is becoming omnichannel and cloud-based. Contact centers are adopting hybrid work and using a contact-center-as-a-service (CCaaS) model to maintain business continuity and prepare for future disruption. These emerging trends are covered in Avasant’s Contact Center Business Process Transformation 2021– 2022 RadarView.

The global contact center outsourcing services industry grew 15% between 2020 and 2021. Lockdowns and social distancing made it difficult for enterprises to keep their contact centers operating at capacity, and outsourcing closed the gap. The pandemic has changed customer expectations, and customer service is becoming omnichannel and cloud-based. Contact centers are adopting hybrid work and using a contact-center-as-a-service (CCaaS) model to maintain business continuity and prepare for future disruption.

These emerging trends are covered in Avasant’s Contact Center Business Process Transformation 2021 –2022 RadarView™. The report gives organizations a view into the changing landscape of customer service. The report highlights key enterprise and outsourcing trends and identifies service providers that can help clients reshape their customer service function.

Avasant evaluated 34 providers using three dimensions: practice maturity, domain ecosystem, and investments and innovation. Of those 34 providers, we recognized 23 who brought the most value to the market over the past 12 months.

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The report recognizes service providers in four categories:

  • Leaders: Alorica, Concentrix, Sitel Group, Teleperformance, TELUS, TTEC, and Webhelp
  • Innovators: Atento, Conduent, HGS, Majorel, Sutherland, and Tech Mahindra
  • Disruptors: EXL, Genpact, Startek, Transcom, VXI, and Wipro
  • Challengers: CSS Corp, Firstsource, Ibex, and WNS

“With all the changes in technology, issues with security, and shortage of qualified staff, businesses and providers are being forced to transform their contact center services,” said Sudip Roy, distinguished Avasant fellow. “Those that are coping successfully are shifting to cloud and digital channels, more effectively managing talent, and adopting hybrid work models.”

The full report provides a number of recommendations, including the following:

1. Businesses should accelerate the push toward contactless customer service and support.

  • With customers preferring data-driven, personalized, and automated experiences, enterprises should make the right investments in new digital channels and technologies and adopt an omnichannel customer service strategy for the long-term.
  • Digital customer service options such as remote support, live chat, and do it yourself (DIY) videos must be embraced, along with digital technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), natural language processing (NLP), augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR), and cognitive, to improve customer metrics and service-level agreements (SLAs).

2. Leverage CCaaS to support hybrid working mandates.

  • The pandemic resulted in several changes in enterprise and contact center service provider relationships, both on the contractual and the delivery front. Remote delivery and work models, as well as a focus on stronger data privacy and security, have become crucial.
  • Enterprises need to move away from on-premises call center solutions and embrace cloud-based contact center solutions for increased scalability, flexibility, and cost savings.

3. Providers must embrace digital technologies and optimize processes to remain competitive.

  • Contact center service providers must redesign internal processes, strengthen partnerships, and co-innovate to revamp customer engagement models and move toward a digital-first approach.
  • Service providers should become orchestrators for digital transformation with a focus on infusing new technologies into the contact center ecosystem, providing integration with other enterprises systems, and breaking down silos between customer service and other parts of an organization.

“The role of the contact center is changing fast, from being transactional to strategic, with more companies choosing an outcome-based approach,” said Shwetank Saini, Avasant research leader. “Enterprises should choose a partner to reduce total cost of ownership, share the risks, and transform end-to-end customer service.”

The full report also features detailed RadarView profiles of the 23 service providers, along with their solutions, offerings, and experience in assisting customers in customer service transformation.

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